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Napolitano Votes for Coronavirus Relief and Omnibus Agreement, Delivering Critical Lifelines and Federal Funding to San Gabriel Valley Families & Businesses

December 21, 2020
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, DC)  Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-El Monte) voted for the Coronavirus Relief and FY2021 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Agreement to deliver critical lifelines and federal funding to struggling families and businesses amid the raging pandemic.

“It’s been over 7 months since we passed the Heroes Act, and we can’t wait any longer,” Napolitano said. “Americans need help now with unemployment, putting food on the table, and paying bills. I’m proud we fought for and secured unemployment insurance enhancements, support for small businesses of all sizes, direct cash payments to lower and middle-income families, rental assistance, and other lifelines to struggling families and businesses.”

“While the relief package meets many critical needs, it is extremely frustrating that Republicans blocked funding for state and local governments, which face looming budget shortfalls and painful layoffs,” Napolitano said. “Mayors from all thirteen cities in my district made clear to me in our conversations over the past several months that this was their number one priority, knowing full well the painful consequences and cuts that would follow. It is imperative we pass robust funding directly to state and local governments in the next relief legislation and that we act soon.”

“However, I am pleased the Omnibus includes funding that I requested for so many critical projects to San Gabriel Valley and Southern California families, agencies, and businesses,” Napolitano said. “It funds the Whittier Narrows Dam safety project, puts forth a strong, bipartisan water infrastructure bill, provides low-income households with financial assistance to pay their water bills, and boosts investment in vital water recycling projects in the West as we combat drought and climate change. Through increased funding, the Youth Challenge Program will continue to grow and help many more forgotten youth and their families. Lastly, we are expanding life-saving mental health services as we address the crisis unfolding in our communities, which has been worsened by the pandemic, and ensure help to all in need.”

Some of the Numerous Initiatives that will benefit San Gabriel Valley Coronavirus Relief Package:

  • Accelerating vaccine distribution and crushing the coronavirus: Provides billions in urgently needed funds to accelerate the free and equitable distribution of safe vaccines to as many Americans as possible as soon as possible, to implement a strong national testing and tracing strategy with billions reserved specifically for combating the disparities facing communities of color, and to support our heroic health care workers and providers.
  • Strong support for small business: Critical funding and policy changes to help small businesses, including minority-owned businesses, and nonprofits recover from the pandemic. Includes over $284 billion for first and second forgivable PPP loans, expanded PPP eligibility for nonprofits and local newspapers, TV and radio broadcasters, key modifications to PPP to serve the smallest businesses and struggling non-profits and better assist independent restaurants, and includes $15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions. The agreement also includes $20 billion for targeted EIDL Grants which are critical to many smaller businesses on Main Street.
  • Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions: Includes dedicated PPP set-asides for very small businesses and lending through community-based lenders like Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs); $9 billion in emergency U.S. Treasury capital investments in CDFIs and MDIs to support lending in low-income and underserved communities, including persistent poverty counties, that may be disproportionately impacted by the economic effects of the COVID–19 pandemic; and $3 billion in emergency support for CDFIs through the CDFI Fund to respond to the economic impact of the pandemic on underserved low-income and minority communities.  
  • Rental assistance: $25 billion in critically needed rental assistance for families struggling to stay in their homes and an extension of the eviction moratorium.
  • Direct payment checks: New round of direct payments worth up to $600 per adult and child, also ensuring that mixed-status families receive payments.  
  • Enhanced Unemployment Insurance benefits: Unemployment Insurance benefits continue for millions through $300 per week UI enhancement for Americans out of work.

The FY21 Omnibus bill included funding for the following priorities Napolitano requested for her district and the Southern California region:

  • Whittier Narrows Dam Safety Project – $192,500,000 – The project will construct safety improvements to address recently found flood risks and deterioration at the dam.
  • Low-Income Household Drinking Water and Wastewater Emergency Assistance Program - $638,000,000 – This program was created by Rep. Napolitano and Rep. DeFazio as chairs of the Water Resources Subcommittee and Transportation and Infrastructure full Committee, respectively. The program will provide direct funding to low-income residents to help with paying water and wastewater utility bills. States will work with water utilities to publicize this program and identify households that need this assistance, especially for those facing economic hardship related to the pandemic.
  • Water Resources Development Act - $10,000,000,000 – Authorizes funding to port improvement, flood control, water supply, and environmental restoration projects around the County. Rep. Napolitano is the coauthor of this Act as she is the Chairwoman of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee.
  • Water Recycling and WaterSmart - $131,415,000 – These funds are used by local water agencies and cities to provide affordable and long-term water supply in our region with effective, drought-proof water recycling and water efficiency projects.
  • National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (NGYCP) - $210,000,000 - The NGYCP is a joint federal-state partnership run by the National Guard that enhances the life skills, education levels, and employment potential for at-risk youth by providing them the opportunity to earn their high school diploma or GED, at no cost. California has three programs: Sunburst Youth Academy at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, Grizzly Youth Academy at Camp San Luis Obispo, and the Discovery ChalleNGe Academy in Stockton. Congresswoman Napolitano is working to bring a fourth program to Southern California.
  • Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG) - $757,571,000 – The MHBG awards funding to states to supplement existing and/or new mental health services.
  • Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics Expansion Grants - $250,000,000 - CCBHCs partner with emergency rooms, law enforcement, and veterans’ organizations to provide 24-hour access to outpatient mental health healthcare and substance abuse treatment.
  • National Institutes of Health - $42,934,000,000 - Investments in research will aid in developing rapid, effective treatments for behavioral health disorders and facilitate early identification and intervention.
  • Loan Repayment Program for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Workforce - $16,000,000 - This program works to expand the substance abuse treatment workforce by providing loan repayment for eligible mental and behavioral health professionals working full-time in high-need communities.  

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